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Latest wedge in polygamous families — funerals

Published June 27, 2014 7:18 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On Friday, I was about to type the story of the late Loana Broadbent and the dispute that arose during her funeral and visitation — a dispute that culminated in her being buried before the sun came up so the exiled members of her family couldn't attend any services.

Then I had to leave to pick up my own mother at the airport for a good weekend of fishing. So I didn't get to finish the blog post. In the meantime, The St. George News posted a story that describes what happened as well as I can.

So let's move on to some of the broader picture. We heard back in 2007 about secret funerals for people in good standing with the leadership of the FLDS. The practice is perhaps becoming more common in the United Order — the elite subset of people who consider themselves FLDS and still controlled by Warren Jeffs.

I've been told of three cases in two months with middle-of-the-night burials that some have even described as body snatching. (In fairness to the United Order, it's not clear anything illegal has transpired.)

What's old is this: Jeffs separating families. That has been Jeffs' modus operandi since he assumed power more than a decade ago. Cross him — or if you just kinda of look like a threat or he's having a bad day or whatever — and Jeffs will exile you and ban your family from contact with you, especially if you're male. One of Broadbent's sons told me he hadn't seen his mother in the year prior to her death and hadn't talked to her in 10 months.

Funerals just seem one more way to extend the wedge.

"This is a spite act against her sons," one of the sons told me.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribunepolyamy